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The Effect of Front-End Processing on Speech Perception of Cochlea Implant Users
18 April 2018 (online)
Most cochlear implant CI developments that aimed at enhancing speech recognition have focused on signal-processing strategies and electrode design. Considerable improvements may also be reached by employing front-end processing. The MEDEL SONNET audioprocessor has new two front-end processing features: Microphone Directionality (MD) and Wind Noise Reduction (WNR). The aim of the study was the assessment of speech perception with different combinations of MD and WNR implemented in the SONNET compared to the OPUS2 audio processor.
30 unilateral CI users over the age of 18 with a minimum of six months experience with the OPUS2 were upgraded to the SONNET. Several language comprehension tests were performed in quiet (freiburger monosyllabic word test), background noise (OLSA in noise) and in wind (OLSA in quiet). In addition, the answers of a questionnaire (SSQ12) were evaluated.
The results of speech tests in noise with the SONNET showed significant improvement of speech perception compared to the OPUS2. Speech test in wind revealed that in this conditions speech perception is always better with WNR turned “On” compared to WNR “Off”. The results of the Freiburger monosyllabic test in quiet resulted in better speech perception with the SONNET than with the OPUS 2. In addition higher satisfaction was determined in the questionnaire.
The further development and improvement of front-end processing strategies in audioprocessors improves the language comprehension in difficult hearing situations, such as wind and background noise without disturbing the language comprehension in quiet. This results in higher patient satisfaction with the new SONNET compared to the OPUS2 audio processor.